Edmund Burke Quotes & Wallpapers

Edmund Burke
Total Quotes: 645


Of all things, wisdom is the most terrified with epidemical fanaticism, because, of all enemies, it is that against which she is the least able to furnish any kind of resource. Edmund Burke
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Too much idleness, I have observed, fills up a man's time more completely and leaves him less his own master, than any sort of employment whatsoever Edmund Burke
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That cardinal virtue, temperance. Edmund Burke
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Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found. Edmund Burke
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I do not know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people. Edmund Burke
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Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. Edmund Burke
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I am not one of those who think that the people are never in the wrong. They have been so, frequently and outrageously, both in other countries and in this. But I do say that in all disputes between them and their rulers, the presumption is at least upon a par in favour of the people. Edmund Burke
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But a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how he shall make the most of the existing materials of his country. A disposition, to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution. Edmund Burke
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There is a time when the hoary head of inveterate abuse will neither draw reverence nor obtain protection. Edmund Burke
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It is by bribing, not so often by being bribed, that wicked politicians bring ruin on mankind. Avarice is a rival to the pursuits of many. Edmund Burke
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Our manners, our civilization, and all the good things connected with manners and civilization, have, in this European world of ours, depended for ages upon two principles: I mean the spirit of a gentleman, and the spirit of religion. Edmund Burke
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I own that there is a haughtiness and fierceness in human nature which will cause innumerable broils, place men in what situation you please. Edmund Burke
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Prejudice renders a man's virtue his habit, and a series of unconnected arts. Though just prejudice, his duty becomes a part of his nature. Edmund Burke
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Religion, to have any force upon men's understandings,-indeed, to exist at all,-must be supposed paramount to law, and independent for its substance upon any human institution, else it would be the absurdest thing in the world,-an acknowledged cheat. Edmund Burke
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Nothing ought to be more weighed than the nature of books recommended by public authority. So recommended, they soon form the character of the age. Edmund Burke
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I do not hesitate to say that the road to eminence and power, from an obscure condition, ought not to be made too easy, nor a thing too much of course. If rare merit be the rarest of all things, it ought to pass through some sort of probation. The temple of honor ought to be seated on an eminence. If it be open through virtue, let it be remembered, too, that virtue is never tried but by some difficulty and some struggle. Edmund Burke
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Nothing so effectually deadens the taste of the sublime as that which is light and radiant. Edmund Burke
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One source of the sublime is infinity. Edmund Burke
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I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. Edmund Burke
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Reflect how you are to govern a people who think they ought to be free, and think they are not. Your scheme yields no revenue; it yields nothing but discontent, disorder, disobedience; and such is the state of America, that after wading through up to your eyes in blood, you could only end up where you begun; that is, to tax where no revenue is to be found... all is confusion beyond it. Edmund Burke
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When slavery is established in any part of the world, those who are free are by far the most proud and jealous of their freedom. Edmund Burke
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A nation without means of reform is without means of survival. Edmund Burke
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"War," says Machiavelli, "ought to be the only study of a prince;" and by a prince he means every sort of state, however constituted. "He ought," says this great political doctor, "to consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes ability to execute military plans. "A meditation on the conduct of political societies made old Hobbes imagine that war was the state of nature. Edmund Burke
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In a free country every man thinks he has a concern in all public matters,-that he has a right to form and a right to deliver an opinion on them. This it is that fills countries with men of ability in all stations. Edmund Burke
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As to great and commanding talents, they are the gift of Providence in some way unknown to us, they rise where they are least expected; they fail when everything seems disposed to produce them, or at least to call them forth. Edmund Burke
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Neither the few nor the many have a right to act merely by their will, in any matter connected with duty, trust, engagement, or obligation. Edmund Burke
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Old religious factions are volcanoes burnt out. Edmund Burke
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The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again; and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered. Edmund Burke
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Government is the exercise of all the great qualities of the human mind. Edmund Burke
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No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. Edmund Burke
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This study [of law] renders men acute, inquisitive, dexterous, prompt in attack, ready in defense, full of resources. In other countries, the people, more simple, and of a less mercurial cast, judge of an ill principle in government only by an actual grievance; here they anticipate the evil, and judge of the pressure of the grievance by the badness of the principle. They augur misgovernment at a distance, and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze. Edmund Burke
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To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ, as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country and to mankind. Edmund Burke
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Society is indeed a contract.... As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Edmund Burke
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I decline the election. - It has ever been my rule through life, to observe a proportion between my efforts and my objects. I have never been remarkable for a bold, active, and sanguine pursuit of advantages that are personal to myself. Edmund Burke
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Illustrious predecessor. Edmund Burke
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The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered. Edmund Burke
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All protestantism, even the most cold and passive, is a sort of dissent. But the religion most prevalent in our northern colonies is a refinement on the principles of resistance: it is the dissidence of dissent, and the protestantism of the Protestant religion. Edmund Burke
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If any ask me what a free Government is, I answer, that, for any practical purpose, it is what the people think so, - and that they, and not I, are the natural, lawful, and competent judges of this matter. Edmund Burke
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Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. Edmund Burke
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You cannot plan the future by the past. Edmund Burke
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Religious persecution may shield itself under the guise of a mistaken and over-zealous piety. Edmund Burke
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The traveller has reached the end of the journey! Edmund Burke
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Education is the cheap defense of nations. Edmund Burke
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It is the interest of the commercial world that wealth should be found everywhere. Edmund Burke
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If you can be well without health, you may be happy without virtue. Edmund Burke
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Society is indeed a contract. It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Edmund Burke
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Nothing tends so much to the corruption of science as to suffer it to stagnate; these waters must be troubled before they can exert their virtues. Edmund Burke
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All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke
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There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity - the law of nature, and of nations. Edmund Burke
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What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue! Edmund Burke
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To reach the height of our ambition is like trying to reach the rainbow; as we advance it recedes. Edmund Burke
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I would rather sleep in the southern corner of a little country churchyard than in the tomb of the Capulets. Edmund Burke
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My hold of the colonies is in the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties which, though light as air, are as strong as links of iron. Edmund Burke
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Knowledge of those unalterable Relations which Providence has ordained that every thing should bear to every other...To these we should conform in good Earnest; and not think to force Nature, and the whole Order of her System, by a Compliance with our Pride, and Folly, to conform to our artificial Regulations. Edmund Burke
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A man is allowed sufficient freedom of thought, provided he knows how to choose his subject properly.... But the scene is changed as you come homeward, and atheism or treason may be the names given in Britain to what would be reason and truth if asserted in China. Edmund Burke
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The whole compass of the language is tried to find sinonimies [synonyms] and circumlocutions for massacres and murder. Things never called by their common names. Massacre is sometimes called agitation, sometimes effervescence, sometimes excess sometimes too continued an exercise of revolutionary power. Edmund Burke
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The most favourable laws can do very little towards the happiness of people when the disposition of the ruling power is adverse to them. Edmund Burke
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The moment you abate anything from the full rights of men each to govern himself, and suffer any artificial positive limitation upon those rights, from that moment the whole organization of government becomes a consideration of convenience. Edmund Burke
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It is undoubtedly true, though it may seem paradoxical, - but, in general, those who are habitually employed in finding and displaying faults are unqualified for the work of reformation. Edmund Burke
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Good order is the foundation of all things. Edmund Burke
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But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Edmund Burke
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Some decent regulated pre-eminence, some preference (not exclusive appropriation) given to birth, is neither unnatural, nor unjust, nor impolite. Edmund Burke
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Hypocrisy is no cheap vice; nor can our natural temper be masked for many years together. Edmund Burke
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The individual is foolish; the multitude, for the moment is foolish, when they act without deliberation; but the species is wise, and, when time is given to it, as a species it always acts right. Edmund Burke
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Prejudice is of ready application in the emergency; it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, skeptical, puzzled and unresolved. Prejudice renders a man's virtue his habit; and not a series of unconnected acts. Through past prejudice, his duty becomes part of his nature. Edmund Burke
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All wealth is power, so power must infallibly draw wealth to itself by some means or other. Edmund Burke
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A nation is not conquered which is perpetually to be conquered. Edmund Burke
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Economy is a distributive virtue, and consists not in saving but in selection. Edmund Burke
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In a democracy the majority of citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority...and that oppression of the majority will extend to far great number, and will be carried on with much greater fury, than can almost ever be apprehended from the dominion of a single sceptre. Under a cruel prince they have the plaudits of the people to animate their generous constancy under their sufferings; but those who are subjected to wrong under multitudes are deprived of all external consolation: they seem deserted by mankind, overpowered by a conspiracy of their whole species. Edmund Burke
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The only kind of sublimity which a painter or sculptor should aim at is to express by certain proportions and positions of limbs and features that strength and dignity of mind, and vigor and activity of body, which enables men to conceive and execute great actions. Edmund Burke
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